01783: Customer Service Patience

So I had to call Globe today because of a billing error of sorts. For some reason my data-charging method switched from KB-based charging to Time-based charging, thus racking up additional expenses given how I leave my mobile data on most of the time when away from a steady WiFi connection. The only time my bill really changes is when I incur roaming charges during our Singapore trips, so I'm pretty sure something strange happened.

Thankfully I got through to an agent quickly-enough and we were able to process an adjustment for the charges in error. At the same time, I asked the rep to process the change in data charging-method from his end instead of relying on the self-service option since I was a little wary for why things changed in the first place. Things seemed to go smoothly enough, but I won't really know if everything is okay until my next bill comes with the confirmation of the adjustment. But I checked my current balance due using the Globe mobile app, and it looks like things are in order. Since I'm on an credit card automatic bill pay arrangement, getting the right amount sooner rather than later is key.

Philippine customer service is less than idea, in my experience. Regardless of company, there are a lot of bad practices that we encounter time and time again which all further disappoint me given the fact that I work in the call center industry. The IVR regularly captures our account information but this never seems to get transferred to the agents. The language of conversation is typically Taglish with agents switching between the two languages at whim. Agents are unable to process anything on their terminals without asking to put you on hold over and over again. You get the picture.

I've found the key to dealing with anyone in the customer support field is patience and firmness. When you come in shouting and screaming, that doesn't really help either of you. Remaining calm and clearly explaining yourself helps keeps the agents open to working with you. And when you do need to possibly seek an escalation to speak to someone higher, you increase your chances if you remain calm and firm as opposed to just ranting.

Be warned though, any call center professional knows that a floor supervisor has pretty much the same tool set and level of authority as an agent, so don't go making impossible demands that go beyond what policies allow for. You can continue to go higher and higher up the food chain, but ultimately the agents are the ones who will actually work on your account. So your best bet is to empower your agent and work with him - unless he's an idiot. Then you better find a specialist who can work the system for you.

I rarely call customer service - I guess I'm a somewhat lucky consumer in that regard. I don't make many changes to my service plans since I know what a pain a plan change can represent on your actual bill. If I do make changes, I stick to making them at the start of my billing cycle as much as possible. And I don't get into service contracts in exchange for subsidized devices - instead I'd rather purchase open-line versions that are not tied to any provider. It'll save you a lot of grief.